Matthew J. Fletcher
Matthew J. Fletcher practices complex business litigation at both the trial and appellate court levels. He has handled cases in state and federal court involving a wide array issues, but primarily involving shareholder and partnership disputes, fraud, breach of contract, real estate litigation, breach of fiduciary duty, professional negligence, and trust litigation. Mr. Fletcher’s clients have included large corporations, high net-worth entrepreneurs and business owners, commercial and residential real estate developers, large retail chain stores, trusts, utility companies, and public schools and universities.
Representative matters Mr. Fletcher has handled in recent years include:
- In the past two years, in just three cases, Mr. Fletcher has prosecuted fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, derivative shareholder disputes, corporate governance, and conversion claims, resulting in an aggregate settlement value to Mr. Fletcher’s clients of approximately $20 million.
- Defense of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty claims asserted against the controlling shareholder of numerous corporations. After depositions of two of the four plaintiffs demonstrated that the defendant had done nothing wrong, the plaintiffs agreed to highly favorable settlement terms for Mr. Fletcher’s client. Once the corporate assets were divided, Mr. Fletcher’s client realized a gain on his pre-litigation share of the corporate assets in excess of $10 million.
- Prosecution of fraud and construction defect claims against one of the country’s largest general contractor’s, WL Butler. The client offered to settle the construction defect claims for $550,000, which WL Butler rejected. Fletcher took discovery to prove WL Butler had committed fraud, and then amended the complaint to add the fraud claims. Eighteen months after rejecting a $550,000 settlement offer, WL Butler paid $6.175 million to avoid a jury trial on the fraud claims.
- Prosecution of a wrongful termination claim that resulted in a multi-million judgment in favor of Mr. Fletcher’s client after a three and one-half month jury trial.
- Prosecution of a breach of contract action against D.R. Horton relating to performance and payment agreements with Shea Homes, resulting in a settlement to Shea Homes worth approximately $2 million.
- Defending fraud and unfair business practices claims made against his client, a national home-building company, in which the Plaintiff was seeking in excess of $1 million in damages. After Mr. Fletcher took depositions of key percipient witnesses, the Plaintiff agreed to dismiss the lawsuit with prejudice. Fletcher’s clients were not required to pay any money to the Plaintiff to achieve this result.
- Defending numerous mortgage litigation actions filed against Shea Homes and its affiliates. In each case, Mr. Fletcher achieved a judgment or dismissal in favor of Shea Homes at the initial pleading stage.
- Prosecution of a trust litigation dispute and a related malpractice case against the client’s trust attorneys, on behalf of the trustees of a multi-million dollar family trust. Fletcher achieved a full settlement of the trust litigation that required the beneficiaries to confess the trustees had not breached their fiduciary duties, and then obtained a significant settlement against the trust’s attorney in the malpractice action.
- Defending claims made against a real estate developer in a pending arbitration in a case involving a dispute over the ownership of hundreds of millions of dollars of real estate. After a series of questionable decisions made by the arbitrator, Mr. Fletcher discovered the arbitrator had misrepresented his background to the parties to the arbitration. Based on this information, the Orange County Superior Court removed the arbitrator for bias and Mr. Fletcher’s client eventually prevailed on all claims raised in the arbitration.
- As an associate at the Firm, Mr. Fletcher was heavily involved in the prosecution of a land use dispute involving the former Marine Corps Air Station at Tustin, California on behalf of two school districts. After extensive litigation, the Firm’s clients received a settlement in excess of $60 million.
Since being admitted to the Bar, Mr. Fletcher has been actively involved in Orange County and State Bar Associations. In 2001, he was elected to serve as Chair of the Young Lawyers Division of the Orange County Bar Association (“OCBA”). He was elected to serve as Orange County’s representative on the California State Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Association Board of Directors in 2002 and appointed to serve on the OCBA’s Board of Directors in that same year. He served as Chair of the Business Litigation Section of the OCBA.
In addition to his bar activities, Mr. Fletcher devotes a significant portion of his free time to pro bono clients and local volunteer organizations. Mr. Fletcher received the Attorney of the Year Award from the Public Law Center for his pro bono work.
Mr. Fletcher graduated magna cum laude from the University of Akron School of Law, where he was elected to serve as Editor-in-Chief of the Akron Law Review.